Useful Directions For Writing A Five-Paragraph Essay

The standard five-paragraph essay is made up of:

  • Introduction,

  • Three main body paragraphs,

  • Conclusion.

This type of work is usually used as an answer to a question. The idea behind this type of work is that it helps students to illustrate a logical progression of ideas in response to a problem.

How to start

  • Brainstorm the ideas that you need to cover in your work.

  • Look to see if you can put then in a logical order.

  • Decide if you need any additional information.


  • Make sure that you have a thesis or main point of the work that you will be writing. You will need to decide this in two sentences at the most. Give a brief recommendation for your topic as details will be added in the main paragraphs.

  • Think how you are going to grab your reader’s attention. You could start by making a sweeping statement or challenge. You may even decide to start with a brief anecdote that helps illustrate the topic of your paper. Or, you could even start with a quote.

Three main Body Paragraphs

  • It is important that you only have one main idea in each paragraph. You will need to provide as much information to explain that point complete with examples. You have to be conclusive and definite in your writing there is no room for waffling.

  • The first sentences in each paragraph will introduce the point that you are going to make. Think of it as a mini thesis that supports the main thesis in your introduction. . Each paragraph should end with a concluding sentence.

  • Make sure that each of the ideas that are illustrated in your main paragraphs follow in a logical progression. In the third paragraph you can make reference to the other two paragraphs to show that your work is nearly ready for summing up.


    You need to start this paragraph by revisiting the main thesis in the introduction. The import thing here is to not just repeat what you have said, but to summarize. This is another skill that you need to show in this type of work. Emphasize the importance.
  • In some respects the Conclusion is a reverse of the Introduction. The Introduction starts out general and gets specific and the conclusion starts out specific and ends up in general terms.

  • Make sure that you allow yourself some time to read through your work carefully.

Good Luck!

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